Rex Maurer Posts Scorching 4:13.90 500 FR at CIF-SS D1 Finals, #1 17yo All-Time

2022 CIF-SS Division 1

  • Prelims: Monday, May 2, 2022
  • Finals: Friday, May 6, 2022
  • Margeurite Aquatic Center, Mission Viejo, CA
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results
  • Results also on MeetMobile, search “2022 CIF-SS Division 1”
  • CIF-SS Division 1 Recap

The CIF-SS Championships were held this past weekend, playing host to a ton of fast swimming. Perhaps no race was more exciting than the boys 500 free, which featured two of the fastest high school times in U.S. history from Rex Maurer and Matthew Chai. The duo didn’t compete head-to-head, as Maurer is in the CIF-SS Division 1, while Chai is Division 2. However, the CIF State meet takes place this weekend, and this time it will feature a real showdown between the rising stars.

Maurer, who is just a junior at Loyola, had the better of the times this past weekend, throwing down a scorching 4:13.90. Not only was that a massive personal best for Maurer, it also makes him the fastest American 17-year-old ever, and the first 17-year-old to dip under 4:14 in the event. Next-fastest is Townley Haas, who swam a 4:14.19 at Winter Nationals when he was 17. Haas would of course go on to win the 500 free at Men’s NCAAs 3 times in his career at Texas, as well as win a Gold medal on the U.S. 4×200 free relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Moreover, Maurer is now #10 all-time in the 17-18 age group. The 17-18 NAG was set in March by Texas freshman Luke Hobson at 4:08.42.

Matthew Chai, a Sonora senior, swam a personal best by half a second this past weekend, clocking a 4:15.91. While the swim doesn’t necessarily have the same flash as Maurer’s 4:13, it was just as historic of a swim. Chai brought down Jeff Kostoff‘s legendary CIF-SS Division 2 Meet Record of 4:16.39, which had stood since 1983. To further put into context just how long Kostoff’s record stood, the record was set 21 years before Chai was even born.

Both races landed in the all-time top 10 for high school swimming. Maurer’s swim is the #3 high school time in history, while Chai’s is #7. Here is the updated all-time top 10 for high school performances. Note: these performances include only those which were done while competing for a high school team, not club teams.

Rank Name School State Time Year
1 Grant Shoults Santa Margarita CA 4.12.87 2016
2 Jack Conger Good Counsel MD 4.13.87 2013
3 Rex Maurer Loyola CA 4.13.90 2022
4 Jacob Mitchell Carmel IN 4.14.68 2020
5 Trey Freeman Baylor TN 4.15.53 2018
6 Jake Magahey Mill Creek GA 4.15.63 2019
7 Matthew Chai Sonora CA 4.15.91 2022
8 Jeff Kostoff Upland CA 4.16.39 1983
9 Sam McHugh Baylor TN 4.16.76 2014
10 Jack LeVant Southlake Carroll TX 4.16.78 2018

Here is a split comparison between Maurer’s swim, Chai’s swim, and Grant Shoults‘ National High School Record, which was set at the 2016 CIF-SS Division 1 Finals.

50 Splits Rex Maurer – 2022 CIF-SS Division 1 Finals Matthew Chai – 2022 CIF-SS Division 2 Finals Grant Shoults – 2016 CIF-SS Division 1 Finals
1st 22.80 24.54 23.10
2nd 25.22 25.71 25.44
3rd 25.44 25.79 25.54
4th 25.64 26.16 25.45
5th 25.75 26.20 25.71
6th 25.75 25.74 25.70
7th 25.95 25.75 25.72
8th 26.03 25.59 25.73
9th 26.16 25.51 25.54
10th 25.16 24.92 24.94
FINAL TIME 4:13.90 4:15.91 4:12.87

Despite Maurer and Chai’s final times being only 2 seconds apart, they swam completely different races. Maurer took the race out fast, splitting 22.80 on the first 50, which was 1.74 seconds faster than Chai and 0.30 seconds faster than Shoults’ National HS Record swim. Maurer would split 2:04.85 on the first 250 yards of the race (4:09.70 pace), but then pay for it on the back end, coming home in 2:09.05 on the 2nd 250 (4:18.10 pace). Chai, a true distance swimmer, would take the exact opposite approach. Swimming a much more conservative first 100, Chai would split 2:08.40 on the first 250 (4:16.80 pace), then negative split the race, coming home in 2:07.51 on the 2nd half (4:15.02 pace).

In his National HS Record swim, Shoults was someone between Maurer and Chai in terms of his execution. He was half a second slower than Maurer on the first 100 of the race, but where he really distinguished himself from Maurer was on the final 200, where he out-split Maurer by 1.37 seconds. Shoults’ 250 splits were 2:05.24/2:07.63.


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1 month ago

Hope he goes to Cal!

Big boy lover
1 month ago

That little boy has so much talent! Can’t wait to where he ends up.

1 month ago

Conger had one of the biggest HS peaks. 1:55 back lcm, 4:13 free, 42 free, 45 back, 1:38 back scy. Sometimes I wonder if texas did more to hurt him than actually help him.

Joe Koller
Reply to  monsterbasher
1 month ago

Didn’t he make the Olympic team training at Texas? It’s extremely hard to continue those crazy drops some swimmers see in highschool .

Lisa Schaffer
1 month ago

Can’t wait to watch this race at States – let’s go Rex!!!
(But my heart will be divided in the 400 free relay of Loyola vs. Paly. That will be a barn burner!)

1 month ago

Legend. Still remember his freshman year at IHSA sectionals when he led off Loyola’s 400 free relay and his goggles came off. Had his head up the first 25 and dunked himself into the turn and finished first into the 100 being a half body length behind everyone.

Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

That was a really cool moment to observe. Rex is really showing what he’s made of now

dressel fan
Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

same thing happened at juniors when he lead off his 4×200 relay.

1 month ago

little dent in the East Coast dominance 🙂

Tik Tok
1 month ago

Is he son of Lea Loveless Maurer?

Reply to  Tik Tok
1 month ago

Yes indeed. And brother of Luke.

Reply to  Tik Tok
1 month ago

And the son of ncaa champion in the 50 free from Standford, Erik Maurer.

Reply to  Tik Tok
1 month ago

Strong Stanford roots for the entire Maurer family – dad, mom and big bro Luke. Lea has made it clear that Rex will make his own decision on where to attend college. But perhaps Lea’s subtle message is: if you like mom’s home cooking and want to hang out with your Loyola HS and Rose Bowl Aquatics friends stay in LA 😉